Elderly Maryland residents who live in congregate care settings are eligible for COVID-19 booster shots, and residents with compromised immune systems can get booster shots at pharmacies without a prescription, effective immediately, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday.
Hogan made the announcement at a 2 p.m. news conference.
“For several weeks now, states have had to operate without clear guidance from the federal government regarding these booster shots,” Gov. Hogan said. “The limited guidance we have received has been confusing and contradictory, and it is still unclear when and how more people will become eligible. But all of the evidence makes it abundantly clear that we cannot afford to delay taking decisive action to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”
Congregate care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential drug treatment centers and developmentally disabled group homes, can immediately begin offering booster shots to Marylanders 65 and older who are in their care.
Hogan said the Maryland Department of Health also issued guidance instructing all pharmacies and providers across the state to administer boosters to anyone who considers themselves to be immunocompromised, without a prescription or doctor’s order. Providers are required to report any booster shots they administer in the same manner that first and second doses are reported, Hogan said.
In addition to booster shots, Hogan encouraged Maryland residents to take advantage of monoclonal antibody treatment and said it's available at facilities throughout the state, including the City of Praise Family Ministries near FedExField, and through a number of hospital systems, including the University of Maryland Medical System, Johns Hopkins, MedStar, Meritus, TidalHealth, Anne Arundel Medical Center and Garrett Regional Medical Center.
Hogan encouraged Marylanders who test positive for COVID-19 to talk to their health care provider to see if monoclonal antibodies are an appropriate treatment.
In addition, Hogan announced the launch of the $3 million Community COVID-19 Vaccination Project, a door-to-door canvassing effort to reach Marylanders living in areas with low vaccination rates in order to encourage more vaccinations and provide health education in at-risk neighborhoods.
On Tuesday, Hogan's office announced that 95% of Marylanders 65 and older had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“As one of the most vaccinated states in the country, we continue to achieve significant milestones and outpace the national rates across the board, and we are much better prepared to withstand the Delta variant surge,” Hogan said in a release. “Getting first shots in arms—especially among our most vulnerable populations—continues to be our primary mission. The vaccines are very safe, very effective, and they are widely available through pharmacies, primary care providers, and mobile clinics across the state.”
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